Monday, October 10, 2016

The Giulanification of Donald

Rudolph Giulani's argument is, like most other excuses for Trump, nonsense.  Giulani argues that Trump is under an obligation to maximise profit for his shareholders.  It is true that those in charge of a public company are so obliged, within certain legal and ethical boundaries.  But the Trump Organization, Donald's main business vehicle, is privately held.  As such, Trump can essentially do whatever the law allows him to get away with.  He could even choose to pay tax if he wanted to.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dead On Target

It is of course outrageous for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to suggest that in certain circumstances, shooting an American President could be a good thing. On the other hand, if Trump himself gets elected, we might just be forced to concede that there is something worthwhile in the idea after all.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

May You Never

Whenever I hear a Tory Prime Minister announcing their intention to govern for all the population and not just a privileged elite, my instinctive reaction is to recall the words of wisdom uttered by those great philosophers at the University of Woolloomooloo: "Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce".

However, Theresa May's first speech as PM yesterday was interesting for going into considerable detail on the existence of specific social barriers to upward mobility - barriers rarely acknowledged to exist by those in her party.  This marks a clear turn away from the crude Thatcher philosophy that if you're poor it's just because you don't work hard enough, and back to the "One Nation" Toryism of the Macmillan days - though perhaps with less of the whiff of noblesse oblige that accompanied it then.

May has an unenviable job ahead - she will be judged primarily on how successfully she can implement a policy opposed by almost half the British people, 2 of its 4 constituent nations, its largest city, and she herself - not to mention me.

All At Sea

Thursday, June 23, 2016

No Laughing Matter Really

Having lived out of Britain for four decades, I no longer have a vote there, so I can't participate in today's referendum on EU membership.  If I could, I would vote to stay in.  Not only are many of the "Leave" arguments exaggerated and unrealistic, but the campaign to quit seems to attract a large number of xenophobes and racists, as Jo Cox's murder sadly indicates.

I have long felt that Britain would have far more influence in the EU if it was less half-hearted about its membership.  For example instead of coming back every few years to squeeze a better deal out of the other members, it should propose a long-term mechanism which would periodically review every member country's contributions to ensure they remained fair, then seek support from other countries to implement it.

If Britain does vote to leave, I predict that within a few years Scotland will vote again on whether to remain in a United Kingdom that would be very different from the one they chose to remain in last time.  Having secured their independence, they would then reapply for EU membership, leaving the rump of the UK out in the cold with diminished influence.  But hey, at least Boris Johnson's ego would be stroked.  What could be more important?